Best Fall Farmers Markets in the Midwest

Farmers markets are great ways to get outside, see the community, and pick up produce for the week. But something exciting about the farmers markets in the Midwest is their focus on creating an experience that will make you want to stay awhile - whether it's with live music, hot prepared foods, or an area to sit and mingle. It's creating these third spaces around fresh, local food and goods that is changing the livability of cities, which is exciting. These are some of my favorite markets in the area, who are doing an amazing job at creating that third space.

Mill City Farmers Market in Minneapolis

The Mill City Market is located on the Chicago Mall between the Guthrie Theatre and Spoonriver Restaurant. With farmers, as well as artists and butchers and creamers and soap makers and chefs, you could easily spend your full day there exploring the booths, chatting with the purveyors, and picking up groceries for the week.

Logan Square Farmers Market in Chicago

Only about a block and a half or so long, this farmers market packs a lot of punch into very few square feet. There's an amazing wheel in front of the butcher where you can spin to get a free piece of free range meat. The cheese mongers hand out samples, you can smell the bread before you even reach the market, and the flowers pop. There's some grassy spots on the boulevard where you can bring a blanket and relax with your friends after you've scarfed down grilled cheese sandwiches.

Red River Market in Fargo

Red River Market is new, only in its second season, but has seen huge growth in the past year. Now with over 40 vendors, it's located in the old Goodyear parking lot in downtown Fargo. Vegan cookies, speckled brown eggs, nitro cold brew, and live music are just some of the reasons it's truly special. Be greeted by some folks in a carrot costume and make sure to check out the winery for samples!

Omaha Farmers Market in Omaha

The Omaha Farmers Market is held in the Old Market district. With its old cobblestone streets, the Old Market is a perfect place to fit 100 vendors selling cheeses, breads, veggies, fruits, soap, and more, giving you the feeling that you're being transported to another time. It'll make you forget all about the invention of the supermarket while you pick up white carrots and a fresh basil plant.

Dane County Farmers Market in Madison

Sure there is honey, fresh produce, and flowers to buy, but what really makes this market unique, which is held on tree-lined grounds around the State Capitol building, is its Taste of the Market Breakfast. It's a full meal prepared by a guest chef using primarily what goods can be found at the market. It includes free drinks, live music, and good food for $8.50. It opens at 8:30a before the market so get there early to make sure you get a spot at the proverbial table.

Jodi Regan is a freelance writer based out of Fargo, ND, who has recently in visiting all these amazing cities formed a love for the Midwest and its culture. She is a co-organizer of the Red River Market and loves getting new inspiration from other markets. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @jodestool.